MA 114 News
Final Grades Have Been Posted

Final grades for MA 114 Section 601 were submitted to Registration and Records at 10 AM this morning. So you should be able to access your official grade for the class via the student portal.

I wish all of you the best of success in your future endeavors. 

Dr. Page

Server Problems Resolved

On Wednesday there were server issues at NCSU which made the MA 114 website and the matrix tools unavailable from about 10 AM until 4 PM. To the best of my knowledge, these issues have been resolved. So access to all tools has been restored, making it okay for you to take the final exam at your convenience.

Final Exam info

The following information was sent to me by the folks who run the DE Testing Centers to pass along to students …

Just another reminder for those of you offering final exams through the DELTA Testing Center.

Our final exam hours are: 

April 29, 30, May 1, 8, 9 — 8:00 am to 5:00 pm

May 2, 3, 6, 7 —  8:00 am to 9:00 pm

We have a new app to help students determine the best day to come for their exams based on how busy the centers are and to monitor their place in line; 

As a reminder we have over 3700 students coming to take exams with us. The best time for students to take their exam is before noon.

Students should not bring anything with them to the test center that is not required for the exam; extra books, backpacks, skateboards, etc.  Space is limited and we can not be responsible for personal items.

Class Evaluations

I encourage all students to fill out the class evaluation form for MA 114. You have until 8 AM on May 1 to complete the form. The form may be found here:

Grade Distribution as of April 18

With Test #3 completed, here’s a breakdown of the current grade distribution in the class using the grade estimate provided by WebAssign (based 50% on homework average and 50% on test average)

A      18 students

B      8 students

C      8 students

D      8 students

F      6 students

There are 48 students remaining in the class as of April 18. (There were 60 students in the class at the beginning of the semester.)

It’s typical in a distance education section for a significant number of students to drop the course during the semester. This happens for a variety of reasons. Some students find that they simply don’t have the necessary amount of time to allocate to the class, and others decide they’re simply in over their heads. As you can see from the above list, the grade distribution looks pretty good for those currently participating (lots of A’s), but when you factor in the 12 who have dropped the class you will see that only 2/3 of those who began the class are still participating with a passing grade of D or higher.

Please feel free to drop me a note if you have any specific questions or concerns about your grade. And congratulations to all for the successes you are having.

3rd Test set for April 10-16

The window for Test #3 is April 10-16. This test covers only Part 5 of the course. But of course Part 5 draws heavily on Part 4, so understanding the concepts in Part 4 is essential for a good performance on Test #3.

I especially encourage you to stay on schedule with the homework this week. With the test window opening next Wednesday, this is no time to fall behind in the homework and be struggling to catch up on the homework at the same time you are preparing for the test.

And once Test #3 closes, we’re only two weeks from the end of the semester. So the final exam is right around the corner. In summary, this is no time to slack off.

Report on Test #2

A total of 45 students completed Test #2 on schedule, and the average score was 83.2. This is a few points lower than for Test #1, but overall I consider the results to be a bit better than for Test #1. Typically there’s a slightly larger difference than that in the results for the two tests.

We’re now into Part 5 of the course, and this is the part that requires the most intense effort. Solutions to problems tend to be short (in terms of computation), but coming up with a correct way to approach the question is where your creative effort is called for.

The window for Test #3 is April 10-16, which isn’t far away. So if you fell behind in Part 5 while preparing for Test #2, make every effort to catch up as quickly as possible.

Practice Problems for Test #2

A new WebAssignment has been posted called “Practice Problems for Test #2”. This is not a homework assignment, and is not included in your grade. Use of this assignment is entirely optional. Doing the assignment is not a requirement in this class.

The purpose of this assignment is to give you a lengthy list of practice problems for Test #2. This is not a sample test. You have 50 allowed submissions, just like with homework. And there is no time limit. You can work on these practice problems anytime you like between now and when you take the test.

All of these practice questions appear in your homework assignments, but with different numerical values. So it gives you a chance to retry problems you’ve already done to see how efficiently you can solve a similar problem (which of course is a good way to prepare for the test).

The reason I gave you a sample test for Test #1 was to give you an advance experience with the test environment (75-minute time limit and limit of 3 submissions). You’re already familiar with that environment, so there’s no reason we need to do that again. At this point, a long list of practice problems is more useful because you can work through these problems as an extended review between now and test time.

DE Proctoring Hours

The 2nd test of the semester will be coming up soon after the week of spring break. Here’s a reminder of what the testing center hours are:

Testing Center Hours

Centennial Campus

Monday/ Wednesday/ Friday 8:00am - 5:00pm

Tuesday/ Thursday 8:00am - 7:00pm

Cox Hall

Monday/ Tuesday/ Thursday/ Friday 8:30am - 5:00pm

Wednesday 8:30pm - 7:00pm

Take Part 4 Seriously

This coming week (Feb. 25 - Mar. 1) is one of the places in the course where you really need to buckle down.

  1. It’s a completely fresh start. Nothing in Part 4 has any connection to the what has been going on up until now.
  2. It presents a different sort of challenge. Your effort will be in thinking rather than in calculating. In other words, solutions of problems will be very quick if you know how to approach the problem. Figuring out the approach is the challenge.
  3. Everything in Part 4 is used heavily in Part 5. So if you don’t learn the concepts in Part 4, you might as well give up on Part 5 before you start it.

Things happen thick and fast in Part 4. But your ace in the hole is spring break which is the following week. So if you get a little behind, you can catch up over spring break since no assignments are due that week. But do bear in mind that the 2nd test comes very quickly on the heels of spring break (March 14-20).